Office of Student Life

Program Requirements

STEP participants must complete several requirements to remain eligible for the STEP Fellowship. Progress toward program requirements can be tracked on the STEP Dashboard.

Attend Weekly STEP Cohort Meetings in Autumn Semester

STEP participants attend weekly cohort meetings with 15 fellow students, guided by a Faculty Mentor. These weekly meetings take place during the autumn semester and are offered in-person, online or in a hybrid format. During these cohort meetings, students focus on personal development, career exploration, financial wellness and community building. During cohort meetings, Faculty Mentors will introduce the six STEP Signature Project Categories and participants work closely with them to craft a personal statement. For more information see the Cohort Meetings page.

Attend a STEP Expo  

Students are required to attend an hour-long session during one of the two bi-annual STEP Expos. This event represents an opportunity to interact with former STEP participants and learn about the range of transformational experiences they have pursued through the program. For more information, see the STEP Expo page.


Complete the Financial Wellness Component 

Students are required to complete a two-part Financial Wellness component. This programming is provided through Scarlet and Gray Financial, within the Student Life Student Wellness Center. Participants must complete their group financial coaching session during a designated two-week window that could be scheduled during fall or spring semester. STEP Administration and Faculty Mentors notify participants when their cohort’s window is scheduled. For more information see the Financial Wellness page.


Attend and Reflect on Professional Development Co-Curricular Programs 

Participation in STEP includes attending and reflecting on chosen Professional Development Co-Curricular (PDC) programs. These sessions are intended to customize and enhance students' personal development and connect them to campus resources. After each session, participants submit a short reflection to the STEP Dashboard. For more information see the Professional Development Co-Curriculars (PDCs) page. 


Finalize Signature Project Plans 

During the spring semester, participants meet one-on-one with their Faculty Mentor to discuss Signature Project plans and receive feedback on their STEP Signature Project Proposal. Participants may choose to pursue a project in one of the six project categories: Creative and Artistic Endeavors, Education Abroad, Leadership, Service-Learning or Undergraduate Research. For more information, see the STEP Signature Project page or browse student reflections from previous projects.


Submit a Signature Project Proposal 

Participants will submit their STEP Signature Project Proposal, including a budget, to the STEP Dashboard. They will have approximately 15 months to complete the STEP Signature Project, beginning on May 1 after their second year and ending on August 15 of the following year. 


STEP Fellowship Disbursement and Project Experience 

Once a Signature Project proposal receives full approval, the STEP Fellowship is disbursed through a student's university account on Buckeye Link. Note that in order to be eligible for the STEP Fellowship, students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA at the time of disbursement. If the proposal is declined by STEP Administration or if plans change, students will be able to submit a Project Change Request to pursue a different experience. For more information, see the STEP Student Handbook.

Post-Project Reflection and Reporting Back 

Within 30 days of completing their project, students are required to post a written reflection on the Signature Project Reflections website. Additionally, they will create and share a poster or similar presentation about their experience with the university community at one of the STEP Expos